Published April 20, 2021
Whether the danger is COVID-19 or copperhead snakes, it helps to have reliable expertise on hand. To better understand new developments in marine biology, entomology, personal health, and more, dive into these stories and interviews featuring Rutgers thought leaders.
Infectious disease experts emphasize that it takes two weeks for COVID-19 vaccines to fully kick in and develop our immune systems to fight the virus. Vincent Silenzio RWJMS’91, SPH’92, a professor in the Rutgers School of Public Health, says that while COVID-19 vaccines offer high levels of protection, they don’t guarantee complete immunity. Since the number of COVID-19 infections is still high, Silenzio recommends that those who get vaccines wait two weeks until considering themselves fully vaccinated. “There’s no question that [two weeks] is real and the recommendation is a solid one,” Silenzio tells Mashable.
A new study by Rutgers researchers suggests that coral reefs could survive the impacts of climate change. Paul Falkowski, a professor in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, led a group of researchers who found that coral structures have a mixture of proteins that are organized spatially to create hard skeletons. “Our findings suggest that corals will withstand climate change caused by human activities, based on the precision, robustness, and resilience of their impressive process for forming rock-hard skeletons,” Falkowski tells The Week.
At least one group of New Jersey residents will welcome the emergence of cicadas from Brood X in a few weeks: northern copperhead snakes, which find the insects quite tasty. But don’t worry that the cicadas will bring the venomous snake into closer contact with humans, says Sara Ruane, a reptile expert and an assistant professor at Rutgers University–Newark. The snakes are unlikely “to show up in your yard just because there are cicadas,” Ruane tells The Star-Ledger. “Unless you’re out at night, marching around in the woods, you’re probably not going to encounter one.”
The American Medical Association’s longtime support for the war on drugs contradicts its condemnation of systemic racism, according to a CNN op-ed co-written by David Nathan, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. The association, the co-authors write, “fails to appreciate or chooses to ignore the fact that the uneven application of laws on cannabis prohibition contributes to poverty, which is one of the largest obstacles to health care access in communities of color.”
Are minority unions—member-based unions that don’t span a company’s entire workforce—viable alternatives to complete unionization? What would they look like at Amazon’s facilities? CNBC interviews Susan Schurman, a professor in Rutgers’ School of Management and Labor Relations, about the possibility of minority unions taking root within the colossal online retailer. Although such groups don’t act as bargaining agents, Schurman cites their potential as a “pathway to majority unions” and as powerful tools for building worker support.
Almost everyone feels underappreciated at work from time to time, but when a manager takes credit for an employee’s ideas or prevents interactions with important colleagues, it can make a worker feel valueless and unseen. “One day, I finally did something about it,” says School of Management and Labor Relations professor Kyra Leigh Sutton in a Fast Company op-ed, recalling an incident from early in her career. “I sent an email directly to the senior leader with whom my manager was meeting…The response was favorable. I was able to secure an appointment within one week of sending the message.”